Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) and Tinnitus - Making a claim
Suffering from hearing loss is a common symptom of increasing in age; however when that hearing loss has been caused by exposure to excessive noise during a previous employment, the law allows a Claimant to bring a claim for compensation, if it can be shown that the employer had been negligent is failing to safeguard against excessive noise.
Distinguishing between noise induced hearing loss and age related hearing loss
There is no way of knowing for certain whether your hearing loss has been cause by your exposure to excessive noise without going for a hearing test. You can book a free hearing test with some hearing aid providers, such as Specsavers (subject to their own terms and conditions).
You may also have been diagnosed with tinnitus which can be caused by exposure to excessive levels of noise. However, there are other causes. Tinnitus is any noise (for example, buzzing or ringing) in the ear.
We would look to instruct a Consultant ENT Surgeon local to you to review your medical records and conduct their own hearing test for you so that he/she can prepare an independent report on whether or not you suffer from noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus.
For obvious reasons, your hearing loss and tinnitus diagnosis may be complicated if you have undertaken noisy hobbies such as clay pigeon shooting, visiting nightclubs and live music concerts or if you have carried out national service involving the firing of live rounds.
If you are found to have noise induced hearing loss (and possibly tinnitus), our job as your Solicitor will be to establish a causal link between it and any exposure to excessively noisy environments during your employment history. We will look to obtain a breakdown of your employment career from HM Revenue & Customs who will have a record of this in light of you paying national insurance contributions over the years. Obviously any periods of self-employment will not be recorded.
We will rely upon your own witness evidence along with any evidence from ex-colleagues to build a picture of the work environment that you were exposed to along with the number of hours per day/week you were exposed to it.
It is understandable that any potential Defendant may have ceased trading long ago, however part of our job as your Solicitor will be to carry out research into the relevant employer liability insurer who was on cover at the time of your employment. Provide that we can locate the insurance company; you will be able to direct a legal claim to them.
A claim for noise induced hearing loss must be brought at Court within 3 years of a diagnosis of noise induced hearing loss, or 3 years from the date upon which a Claimant was provided with sufficient information to conclude for themselves that they had noise induced hearing loss.
We would be happy to discuss your claim with you and provide free initial advice to you. There is no obligation to make a claim, however should you want to, we would be happy to act on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.
Please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team who will be happy to help.